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Rafferty Guilty On 24 Of 25 Counts

Chad W. Lutz
Stow, Ohio, native Brogan Rafferty, in connection with 3 murders involving the luring of three men through craigslist onto a cattle farm in Noble County, robbing the men, and killing them, received a verdict of guilty Tuesday, October 30, 2012. After nine days of testimony and four days of jury deliberation, Rafferty sat before his peers and listened as the jury convicted him on 24 of 25 criminal counts.

Rafferty, 17, now faces life in prison with sentencing due to take place Friday, November 9. Originally scheduled for sentencing on November 5, Judge Lynn Callahan announced the new sentencing date after a 90-minute delay in proceedings Monday morning. During the 90-minute delay, both prosecutors and defense attorneys representing Rafferty met in the judges personal chambers. All parties are now under a gag order until Friday when sentencing resumes.

Many people throughout Ohio, especially those in Stow, Brogan's hometown, share a common disbelief over the murders which garnered national attention last November. Brogan and cohort Richard Beasley plead not guilty to all charges; Rafferty's case began on October 12 and Beasley's trial is set to begin in January 2013. The conviction Rafferty pends from a combination of key witness testimony and evidence obtained by the FBI. Law enforcement apprehended Beasley using the IP address corresponding to the job postings for a personal caretaker left on Craigslist.com, the same job postings used to lure Timothy Kern, 47, Ralph Geiger, 56, and David Pauley, 51 between August and November 2011.

The term "Craigslist Killer", applied loosely yet consistently with both Brogan Rafferty and Richard Beasley since their initial indictment, originates to murders linked to New York native Phillip Markoff,who in 2009 was charged with armed robbery and the murder of 29-year old Julissa Brisman. Markoff later committed suicide in a Boston, MA, jail while awaiting trial.

According to a 2007 article by Michael Largo (videojug.com) more than 400 homicides have been preceded by victims and attackers meeting online. The article predates the original "Craigslist Killer" and the murders connected to Rafferty and Beasley, but the disposition for killers to use the internet as means to commit heinous crimes extends beyond meeting potential victims. A January 2011 story on Forbes.com by staff writer Kashmir Hill explores the use of Google and other search engines as resources for methods of killing, including step-by-step processes and diagrams outlining the best ways and how to murder victims.